LONDON, England -- Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has said the French giants "did as much as possible" to ensure right-back Serge Aurier could play in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League clash away at Arsenal.
The Ivory Coast international was denied entry to the United Kingdom because of his ongoing appeal against a "convertible" two-month prison sentence and joins Adrien Rabiot, Layvin Kurzawa and Javier Pastore in missing the encounter at Emirates Stadium.
Emery admitted in his prematch press conference "all the players wanted him to be here" but chose not to dwell on Aurier's absence and instead focused on his replacement, Belgium international Thomas Meunier.
"The decision has been made and I think Meunier, who is the obvious choice to replace him, has already played in big games and is ready to step in," the Spaniard added. "We have solutions. Serge is an important player; it is a shame, especially for him. He is obviously disappointed."
Midfielder Thiago Motta echoed his boss' thoughts on the Aurier matter and confirmed the squad's "disappointment" for their teammate. The veteran Italian also insisted the capital club did everything it could to avoid the situation.
"The club has done everything possible to try and get him here with us, but we have to stay focused on the game," Motta said. "An important player that can help the team, like he already has. But we have a quality squad to take on Arsenal."
Aurier's absence is the latest in a string of issues Emery needs to deal with ahead of the match and the Basque tactician conceded there are doubts over goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and winger Angel Di Maria as well.
"The final training session is important," said Emery. "Alphonse and Angel will start the final session and we will see how they go. I think Alphonse will be available. Kevin [Trapp] is also full of confidence, so if he plays, he will perform.
"For Angel, there is still a doubt. He wants to play. We will see after training. If he does not have any pain in his foot, he will be available. We will make a decision with the doctors, but we will not be taking any risks."
Emery has named an enlarged 21-man squad ahead of the clash, suggesting he expects one or two players to ultimately miss out -- possibly Di Maria and Areola.